Ho, ho, huh?
I have a confession to make: I'm blogging while tipsy.
Not only that, this blogging is taking place in a tree-less living room. Meanwhile, we're knocking back some screwdrivers and enjoying some nice, holiday nachos. And we're loving it.
Okay, it would be nice to have a Christmas tree. But there haven't been good any plastic tree sales yet, so we agreed to wait until post-Christmas sales kick in. Otherwise, we're pretty happy with our non-holiday theme.
We're looking forward to opening presents on the 25th, of course. And I even bothered to make peanut butter blossoms -- which are disappearing at such an alarming rate, I plan on making more tomorrow.
But, by and large, Tim and I are pretty happy creating our own version of the holidays. Once we have a kid, I'm sure we'll conform more. For now, though, we're getting unnecessarily tipsy off OJ and vodka. (And, yes, it's seasonal: The Absolut is in a special holiday bottle. That counts, right?)
My point -- and I do have one, honest -- is that the most frugal way to celebrate is to create your own traditions. A landslide of gifts seems great, but you'll probably end up with more clutter than treasure. Going to see A Christmas Carol at a local theater can be similarly expensive.
Meanwhile, caroling is free. And if you're not as tune-savvy as others, there are plenty of groups that carol for you. You can just sit back and relax.
Maybe you love a holiday-themed play? A few years ago, my aunt took me to An Owen Meany Christmas -- far more entertaining than the well-worn classic A Christmas Carol -- at a local college for about $10 a ticket. So check around for more modern traditional plays.
While I haven't explored Phoenix's holiday offerings, plenty of cities have funky attractions for the season. In Seattle, various groups create "gingerbread" houses -- that is, any (and all) kind of sculpture involving candy etc. Probably my favorite was a Chinese dragon with gold-foil-wrapped chocolate coins for scales. (For true irony, you have to know that the event is sponsored by a diabetes group.)
But perhaps you have no interest in going out to enjoy holiday offerings. There are plenty of holiday traditions to create at home. Take, for example, the aforementioned liquor and holiday nachos.
Seriously, though, there are good traditions to enjoy. Get some holiday-themed shows or movies, but ones that more accurately reflects your mood. (Scrooged, anyone?) Personally, one of my favorite traditions involves watching A Muppet Christmas Carol. It's sweet but also snarky, both of which I consider staples of the holiday season.
The point is to look around and decide on your own holiday traditions. Find out about free offerings and then settle on your own way of celebrating this season. If you go through the motions of other people's traditions, you'll have less fun and probably end up spending more.
In case you're wondering, I'll probably be spending most of Christmas day watching movies and eating junk food. (Especially if any peanut butter blossoms are left. But they won't be.) After all, we're only exchanging a couple of gifts each. Plus we don't have any family in the area this year. So festivities will be over pretty quickly. That leaves the rest of the day to narf around and kill brain cells with some modern cinema and, yeah, probably a couple of alcoholic beverages.
It's the holidays, people!